A workplace rehabilitation provider can assist you and the injured worker if there are problems with the return to work process.

Workplace rehabilitation providers are health professionals such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists or psychologists who have expertise in addressing the physical, psychological and/or workplace barriers that may prevent an injured worker returning to work.

Workplace rehabilitation providers are approved by WorkCover WA and have the qualifications, experience and expertise appropriate to provide relevant services based on the assessed need of the worker and the workplace.

When to engage a workplace rehabilitation provider
It may be advisable to engage an approved workplace rehabilitation provider when:

  • the injured worker is unable to carry out pre-injury duties and there is a need to identify alternative or modified duties with either the same employer or a new employer
  • there is a need to complete a practical assessment of the injured worker’s capacity to return to work
  • the injured worker is experiencing problems associated with returning to work (for example, they may be anxious about returning to a particular work area or job)
  • modifications are required to the workplace, or aids and equipment are required to assist the injured worker’s return to work (for example, this may be required when they are restricted while recovering from major surgery or there are multiple injuries)
  • there is a need to assess the suitability of a Return to Work Program with a new employer if this is identified by you, the injured worker and their treating medical practitioner as the new rehabilitation goal
  • there is a need to determine whether retraining should be provided.
What to expect from the service
A workplace rehabilitation provider will deliver an appropriate professional Return to Work Program by undertaking the following:

  1. When the referral is received, the workplace rehabilitation provider completes an assessment to determine if further rehabilitation services or a specific service would be of benefit.
  2. If the assessment indicates that rehabilitation services are recommended, the rehabilitation provider should discuss the findings of the assessment with you, the injured worker and the treating medical practitioner.
  3. If agreed, the recommended services are then described in a service delivery plan, which must be signed by the worker and agreed by you and the treating medical practitioner before the services can be provided. A service delivery plan is not required when a single service is to be provided.
  4. The workplace rehabilitation provider should give a copy of the agreed plan to you, the injured worker and treating medical practitioner. All parties should receive regular information about the costs incurred and the anticipated costs of the worker’s rehabilitation services.

Note: Resolution of issues not related to the Return to Work Program and the worker’s rehabilitation generally are not part of the workplace rehabilitation provider’s role.

Getting a referral
An injured worker, employer or treating medical practitioner can initiate a referral to a workplace rehabilitation provider. However, to comply with their conditions of approval, the provider must ensure all parties agree to the referral for rehabilitation services.

A referral may be completed on the Workplace Rehabilitation Referral Form available on the Workers forms page or may be made on the workers’ First or Progress Certificate of Capacity.

See the directory of WorkCover WA approved workplace rehabilitation providers in the health providers channel.

Injured workers have the right to choose

An injured worker has the right to choose their workplace rehabilitation provider, even when you or the treating medical practitioner makes the referral.

Who covers the costs?
The costs for workplace rehabilitation providers that are approved by WorkCover WA are covered by the prescribed amount in every workers’ compensation claim.

Costs may vary according to the services they provide, but the maximum amount they can charge is determined by WorkCover WA and reviewed annually.

Available rehabilitation services
Workplace rehabilitation providers can provide any of the following services in helping workers return to work:

  • support counselling
  • vocational counselling
  • purchase of aids and appliances
  • case management
  • retraining criteria assistance
  • training and education
  • workplace activities
  • placement activities
  • assessments (functional capacity, vocational, ergonomic, job demands, workplace, and aids and appliances)
  • travel
  • medical
  • general reports.